Publican Awards 2016: Best new site

By Ben Winstanley

- Last updated on GMT

Publican Awards 2016: Best new site

Related tags 21st century

Best New Site, sponsored by Heineken, is one of the most prestigious titles at the Publican Awards and this year’s recipients have bested some of the highest quality entrants in the awards’ 25-year history.

From the likes of Robinson Brewery’s stunning flagship pub The Airport to the unbelievable success of New World Trading Company’s Newcastle Botanist site, judges had a particular tough job but the gong goes to St Austell Brewery’s Samuel Jones site in Exeter.

Set on Exeter Quay in a beautiful Victorian building overlooking the River Exe, Samuel Jones was both a warehouse and a nightclub in a former life but this huge site remained derelict for years before a massive refurbishment from St Austell helped realise its potential.

Since opening in November 2014, the pub has employed up to 50 members of staff all of whom have boasted a fantastic knowledge in the rotating range of craft and new world beers served through the 26 taps. Meanwhile, the kitchen utilises its two metre clay fire pit to infuse oak, lump wood and charcoal smoke into a varied range of locally-sourced ingredients.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of this costly development, though, is its ability to at once preserve the Victorian aesthetic of this unique building, while creating an exciting experience fit for the demands of the 21st century consumer.  

Ed Bedington, editor of the Publican’s Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “This is probably one of the most hotly contested awards in the competition, and there were some amazing operations in the running.

“To take the title the Samuel Jones site is simply something else, and the fact it has taken a former operation and breathed new life into it in such a successful way deserves to be applauded.”

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